In 2002 MGM released the war film Windtalkers, based on the true story of the Navajo Code Talkers, who used a code based on the Navajo language to send encoded transmissions that the Japanese couldn’t understand. The film follows two code talkers and their “chaperones” who are ordered to protect these Navajo soldiers with their lives (as only a handful of people know how to use the code). Though the Japanese tried many times, they were never able to break the code.
The score for this film was created by the late James Horner, and the clip above is part interview and part scoring session, showing Horner at work in the recording studio. As beautiful as the music sounds, it’s a shame that the film wasn’t better received at the box office (I don’t think having Nicolas Cage as the main star helped much). This just reinforces the sad truth that a film can have a beautiful score but still be ruined by other factors.
Having just finished the James Horner blogathon, I still had his music very much on my mind, and I was glad I could find another recording of the composer at work (there aren’t as many out there as you might think). I hope you enjoy watching and listening. -Bex
If you’d like to learn more about the film scores of James Horner, see here
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*poster image is the property of MGM